PHOENIX (CN) – An FBI agent has been arrested and accused of having an affair with the wife of a man he investigated, using information she gave him to arrest her husband, and revealing a confidential informant to the woman in an attempt to shorten her son’s jail sentence.
Special agent Joe Gordwin is accused of having an “improper intimate relationship” with the wife of a subject of investigation. The married agent got caught when he acknowledged a version of the affair to his supervisor, out of fear that the husband would reveal his secret, the indictment states.
The husband allegedly threatened to tell after Gordwin was unable to get his sentence for armed robbery reduced.
Gordwin is accused of hiding the relationship from his supervisors for three years. Scottsdale Police and the Maricopa County District Attorney’s Office, which were investigating the husband, were also in the dark, prosecutors say.
Gordwin allegedly began the affair in 2002, after he arrested the woman’s husband during a gang investigation. The indictment identifies the man as “B.M.” Later, Gordwin allegedly let the woman persuade him to recommend that B.M. receive a 12- to 18-month sentence, rather than the 5-year sentence he initially advocated.
The woman divorced B.M in 2004.
In 2005, while Gordwin was still seeing the woman, he joined an investigation of B.M., which led to his arrest on charges of armed robbery, prosecutors said. The woman’s son was also arrested. Gordwin allegedly used information the woman gave him during the investigation, but kept her name out of reports. Instead, the indictment states, Gordwin asked an FBI informant to claim to be Gordwin’s source.
Later that year, Gordwin allegedly tried to swing a secret deal with D.C., the woman’s son, to get D.C. a shorter sentence for the Radio Shack robbery, in exchange for D.C.’s help in finding a fugitive. To pull it off, Gordwin revealed the informant’s identity to the woman, set up a meeting between her and the informant, and told the woman the informant would help her find the fugitive, prosecutors say. With the informant’s help, the FBI arrested the fugitive.
The indictment states that Gordwin told his supervisor a shortened version of the story of his affair with B.M.’s wife after B.M. threatened to reveal the relationship. Gordwin had been unable to secure the shortened sentence he allegedly promised B.M.
Gordwin then disobeyed his supervisor’s order to end the relationship by using the informant as an intermediary with the woman and by meeting the woman twice, prosecutors say. “If I could kill [the woman] and get away with it, I would do it,” Gordwin allegedly told the informant. Allegedly, he later told the woman that he would “blow his head off” if she refused to lie to cover up the affair.
Gordwin is charged with six counts of wire fraud, five counts of lying to the FBI, and seven counts of witness tampering. He could face up to 285 years in prison.